This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection

117 mins.
Directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
Southern Soho with subtitles
2021

Lasy day Thursday! Playing through Thursday, April 29.
 

  • Platform:  AmherstCinemaAtHome.org
  • Ticket price:  $12 general admission, $9 for Members
  • Watch window:  30 days to start watching, 2 days to finish once started
  • How to watch:  Through the internet browser on your computer, tablet, or smart phone
     

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Deserving comparison with the work of Pedro Costa, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Souleymane Cissé, THIS IS NOT A BURIAL marks the introduction of a major filmmaker and the final powerhouse performance of a remarkable actress.

The late Mary Twala Mhlongo, recognizable from Beyoncé’s blockbuster musical BLACK IS KING, gives a heartbreaking career-capping performance as Mantoa, an 80-year-old woman who has lived in a small Lesotho village for her entire life. While preparing for her own death, she receives word of an accident that has killed her only son, leaving her entirely alone, with only the respect of her community, the traditions of her ancestors, and the courage of her convictions. When her community must relocate to make way for a nearby dam which would flood her family’s burial ground, Mantoa draws a line in the sand and becomes an unlikely political and spiritual leader.

Cryptic, impressionistic, and informed by magical realist literature, THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT'S A RESURRECTION contains some of the most striking visual compositions in contemporary cinema, all the more impressive considering this is the first feature-length film for both cinematographer Pierre de Villiers and production designer Leila Walter. The cumulative power of Mantoa’s sacrificial crusade, Mhlongo’s earthy performance, and Mosese’s visionary artistry announce an unmistakable landmark in African cinema.


"A knockout from the very first sequence." Nicolas Rapold. A New York Times Critic's Pick!